Mondello, Sicily

© Giovanni Caruso –

Palermo’s beach is in Mondello, part of the Sicilian capital and an old fishing village which is now popular with local people wanting sea and sun without leaving the city too far behind. Its beautiful beach with colours that remind you of the tropics, is just a few miles from the centre of Palermo. And the limestone headland of Monte Pellegrino, an imposing rocky mountain that dominates little Baia di Mondello and its beautiful clear southern Mediterranean waters, is very close to the beach.

Mondello’s very fine sandy beach is walkable distance from the city centre through the Bourbon era Favorita park along the splendid regal avenues around seventeenth century Villa Niscemi. On this pure white crescent fringed by the houses of Mondello and washed by a beautiful clear sea, it hardly seems possible that you are so close to the city.

Mondello is an important water sports centre: kite surf, wind surf and every thing else as well. This is one of the Italian homes of water sports and the venue since 1995 of one of the most important events of its kind in Italy, the World Festival on the Beach, a great wind surf event which now includes kite surf, sailing, beach volley and even fencing and golf with competitions on the beach and a fresh new format every year. Classical music, pop and jazz concerts are also organised for the mid May event which attracts celebrities and spectators from all over Europe.

Mondello is not just a beach resort. A great many wonderful walks along Mt. Pellegrino with views of Palermo and the Tyrrhenian sea start here. And the area is also full of historic sites of various kinds from Renaissance era watch towers just a few hundred metres away in the direction of Partanna to the pre-historic caves of Capo Gallo which you can get to along the footpaths of Mt. Gallo with their Grotta Regina Phoenician and Carthaginian sanctuary.

And lastly lively and attractive Palermo, right behind this beautiful beach, makes Mondello a perfect destination for an unusual but varied and interesting seaside experience.